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China's largest freshwater lake starts three-month fishing ban
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10:27, March 22, 2009

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About 100,000 fishermen living in the area around China's largest freshwater lake Poyang were ordered to dock their vessels on Friday, as the lake's annual fishing season came to a close.

The seasonal, three-month fishing ban, in place since 2002, has been considered crucial to sustain the lake's fishing resources.

Fisherman You Shaohua said he understands the importance of the ban imposed in the spring fish spawning season, though he was left "jobless" during the period.

Qian Xin'e, head of the provincial bureau of fishing affairs, said the government would provide training courses for fishermen and encourage them to seek jobs in the local aquiculture industry during the catch closure period.

The lake at the lower reaches of China's longest river of Yangtze has suffered a declining fish yielding capacity since 1980s, due to over fishing, pollution and mining of river sand.

Eight consecutive years of the fishing ban, in concert with other efforts such as releasing millions of fish into the lake, has begun to pay off.

The bureau said fishing output from the lake rose by 7.42 percent year-on-year in 2008, a sign of showing the yielding capacity has been recovering.

But it did not provide the specific hauling figures.

Poyang Lake covers 3,583 square kilometers and has an annual average water depth of 8.4 meters. It is a home to 140 varieties of fish and around 600 other animals.

Source: Xinhua

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